Update 76: Dry, Dry Desert

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Welcome back. Today, I hope you packed your weird beeping gems, because we've got desert ruins to look into.
♪ Beyond the Crossroads ♪

What's interesting?
Oh, Teach! How long have you been there?
Don't sneak up on me like that! You almost gave me a heart attack.
Anyway, I'm reading the official biography of the Four Saints, as sanctioned by the church. I know you're not very familiar with the teachings of Seiros, but even you must have read it at least once.
Tell me again... How exactly did you manage to get a job teaching at an academy run by the church?
Well, whether you've read the biography or not, the Four Saints must at least ring a bell, right? Well then, I've got a little quiz for you. Name the Four Saints, companions of the great Saint Seiros. I'll give you a hint. There was Cichol, Cethleann, Indech, and...who was the fourth one again?
Correct! I was hoping you'd know that much, at least.
In any case, you can learn some interesting things reading about the life and times of Saint Macuil. For instance, he was more skilled with his hands than his fellow saints, and even became an accomplished blacksmith. He used his skills to forge countless sacred weapons for the army of Seiros. Of course, he didn't just forge the weapons. He also used them in battle himself. Legends say his strength was second only to Seiros. It's even said that he played a big role in the Battle of Tailtean, where Seiros fought Nemesis, the King of Liberation who became the king of evil. Macuil lost his life in that battle, and now his body rests in a coffin within the Holy Mausoleum.
Or so one story goes. Another legend says he set off on a journey to find a new land. That he left Fódlan from the east, crossed the sea, and vanished.
He must have left Alliance territory, but where exactly would he have set sail from, I wonder?
Thinking about it reminds me of another interesting story concerning the Sreng Region.
The peninsula is attached to the mainland of Fódlan and extends from the northeastern part of Kingdom territory. If you were to set sail from Margrave Edmund's territory, you could cut cross a stretch of sea and land there. And it just so happens that in the Sreng Region, there are ruins built to worship a sacred beast that appeared from across the sea. If the ruins have something to do with Saint Macuil, there could be sacred weapons there...
So? Have I piqued your interest or what?
Maybe a little.
You always have to play it cool, don't you? Just think of how useful it would be to have weapons like that!
Not to mention that the peninsula would be pretty easy to get to about now, seeing as how Alliance territory has settled down a bit. We'd be there and back in no time. No one would even notice we were gone. Come on, Teach! Let's go to the Sreng Region!
Let's go.
I always see it through once I set my mind on something. Let's make the necessary preparations before I die of curiosity.

♪ As Fierce as Fire ♪

This paralogue isn't gonna give us much info on Claude himself, but exploring some ruins to hunt down some history he's curious about is very on-brand.

Here's our expeditionary force. A lot of fliers, not just because they're some of my best units, but because this map has a lot of sand, which tanks infantry and cavalry units' movement. I've got mages for the same reason.

I forgot to get a look at the broader map before the battle started. Sorry.
♪ No music ♪

Let's get a move on anyway.
♪ Dwellings of the Ancient Gods ♪

Look. I bet those are the watchmen of the ruins, and that they've been ordered to keep out intruders. And that big beast... I hear they call it The Wind Caller.

Agh! It speaks! What is it?!

We can't let them get the treasure! Guess their luck's about to run out.
There's assassins scattered around the map, and they've got loot ranging from meh (consumables, rapier) to okay (killer bow) to incredible (rusted lance, which can be turned into a brave lance). They're a pain to get to, but worth it.

Some of the phantom soldiers (the red units) have stat boosters that you can steal, but I sadly didn't show that off.

This map's also one of the few times that we'll fight crawler monsters outside of an auxiliary battle. These things drop Agarthium if you shatter their armor, so doing that is advisable.

This map has us fighting full-on wyvern lords, not wyvern riders. Treat them with extreme caution, they can screw someone up real bad.

Behold, Bolting!

Don't you know who I am?

Wow. Where has this Lorenz been all game?

On top of wyvern lords in general being very dangerous, this one near the center is carting a fucking tomahawk around.

All he really did was make Hilda stronger, though.

Oh yes, by the way, if you're not in the range of the red units, they will gladly go for the assassins. Like I said, getting some of the assassins' drops is a real pain.

Even with the ability to double the wyvern lords, the assassins still have decent odds of losing half their HP whenever they enter combat against them.

The leader has a bow, so he at least can defend himself.

My boy, that's exactly what you need.

Begone with you!

Damn, man, alright, you've impressed me.

I'll cut you down!

Everyone is trying to impress me this map, I guess.

Seeing 0 enemy Hit is always nice.

It's over!

There, the tomahawk jerk is dead. He's got the courtesy to give it to us after he dies.

Wow, no crits?

You should run!

Sure, I was gambling with Hapi's life, but it paid off.

Claude continues to get either Str or Spd, but not both.

Mastering Dark Flier gives Constance...a normal ability version of one of her class's innate abilities.

Transmute: If unit is hit with a magic attack during enemy phase, grants +3 to all stats until next player phase ends.

It's not even good. You're not using Dark Flier for its abilities, though, you're using it for the "flier" part.

That phantom could've done a number on Hilda, so Marianne silences it.

That assassin had an elixir, so... Not a terrible loss, but still.

...Why are you dimwits running towards the Wind Caller?

Left-side levels are so satisfying.

To survive, I will win!

Hooray, I got...a rapier.

Really wanna kill the rusted brave lance guy, if at all possible.

Thankfully, the wyvern lords here are interested in the killer bow assassin, not the rusted brave lance one.

Adan, with some assitance from Annette, is able to take out one of the southern wyvern lords.

Constance, in preparation for fighting the Wind Caller, electrocutes one of its wyvern lord guards.

Ugh, running out of time to get to the assassins before the wyvern lords do. I'm not too upset at the loss of a killer bow, I've got enough of those, but I really do want that rusted brave lance.

That was...actually smart. Wow.

that isn't

30 Spd!

Okay, the assassins are safe from wyvern lords now.

...Except looking at my positioning, I don't think I bothered going for them. Dammit, past Rea.

Okay, no, I did have Adan be ready to intercept them, good.

[Byleth-2] Here is something to believe in!

Holy fuckin' shit.

I mean, that's what I want from Lysithea, but... I'm still in awe of Adan.

...Not what I wanted.

Alright, time to get this started.
♪ Wrath Strike ♪

I'm the grandson of the grandson of the grandson of the elite Riegan. Now tell me who you are!
I am your family's enemy. If you carry the blood of the 10 Elites, you cannot be permitted to live.
What do you mean by that? And what's that Crest on your forehead?
No more talk. If you wish to survive, you must destroy me!
The Wind Caller's also got battle dialogue against Adan, Seteth, and Flayn.
Hmmm... Those who stand before me... How long has it been? Hundreds of years? Thousands? You have the stink of Sothis upon you... Let us find out whether you share her power.
Are these your companions?
They are indeed. I should tell you that Seiros is in a precarious state right now.
I will not assist you. I have lived apart from the world of man, which disgusts me so. This war disgusts me also.
I thought you might say as much. That is regrettable.
Ah, that face takes me back in time... You have not changed one bit, Ceth—
I ask that you keep quiet, Uncle!
Why the rush, Ceth—
Shh! Please keep quiet, Uncle!
I like how Macuil (no, I'm not even gonna bother pretending that this isn't Saint Macuil) is rude to everyone but Flayn.

Anyway, I forgot to look over its stats page, so lemme take a bit to talk about the Wind Caller's abilities.

Magic Bind: If unit lands a hit, targeted foe is unable to use magic for 1 turn.
Ancient Dragonskin: Halves all damage taken, negates some abilities and combat arts, and prevents unit from being moved.
Avo +10: Increases Avo by 10.
Counterattack: Allows unit to counterattack regardless of distance to attacker.

These are its base abilities. Honestly, I don't think Magic Bind matters much—unlike the fight against the Immovable, you're not gonna take very long to kill the Wind Caller.

Dragon-Scale Wall: Armor tiles reduce damage taken by 70%, but break after two rounds of combat.

Standard major monster boss 70% damage reduction on armor tiles.

Vital Defense: Makes critical hits against this unit's armor tiles impossible.
Giant Wings: Grants Avo +30 against sword, lance, or axe users when the attacker is targeting an armor tile.

Unlike the Immovable, the Wind Caller's armor abilities are very annoying. I highly recommend just inflicting an armor break ASAP, there's no reason to delay it here, unlike with the Immovable.

Darting Blow: If unit initiates combat, grants AS +6 during combat.

After losing one HP bar, the Wind Caller gets Darting Blow. It's already quite fast, so this isn't really relevant.

Miracle: Chance to survive lethal damage with 1 HP, if HP is > 1. Trigger % = Lck stat.

After losing two HP bars, it gets Miracle, because Koei-Tecmo hates me.

Desperation: If unit initiates combat with HP ≤ 50%, unit's follow-up attack (if possible) occurs before foe's counterattack.

And at its final HP bar, it gets Desperation, which is an utter non-factor.

Ashes and Dust, in addition to everything else it has going for it, is also really good for weakening the armor of 3x3 monsters.

Two uses of it is enough to inflict an armor break from scratch, even. That's an incredibly good reward.

Incidentally, if we'd broken the Immovable's armor, it'd have given us 10 Umbral Steel too.

Unlike the Immovable, the Wind Caller doesn't nullify effective damage against monsters, so Hapi's free to go to town on it.

Ah, dammit, Seteth.

30 Str, now! Petra, Hilda, and Felix are too powerful.

And now Hilda's even more powerful.

Constance has way more Spd than she has any right to have. I kinda like this.

Ugh, don't do this at home, kids. Burning 5 durability of Freikugel is not worth it for fucking Smash, of all things.

Oh yeah, we've got reinforcements. These guys differ significantly based on your difficulty; on Normal, there's no reinforcements at all. On Hard, you get two wyvern lords on the enemy phase after you first attack the Wind Caller, as seen here. On Maddening, you get four wyvern lords immediately after exiting your first round of combat against the Wind Caller, two at each of the spots pictured here. Unlike most Maddening reinforcements, they will not act on their spawn turn, unless there is a unit within their range.

No hesitation!

The rusted brave lance is mine!

One last note, as you might expect, the Wind Caller has a major Crest of Macuil. Notably, it is the only entity in the game that has a Crest of Macuil. No other units, player or enemy, have a Crest of Macuil.

No crits, but Yuri did get get off scot-free thanks to his Crest of Aubin, which is kinda funny.

This feels appropriate.

Tsk, tsk.
♪ No music ♪

It stopped moving... Is it dead?
No... It seems it's just sleeping... I thought we were supposed to be given the treasure, but... Forget it. I'll just have a look around there. What about this thing? Huh. I'll think about it later.

And that was The Sleeping Sand Legend! I like this map a lot, honestly. Its layout isn't used in non-auxiliary battles, dealing with wyvern lords is always a fun challenge, the yellow units add some extra difficulty if you want to get their loot, and there's a lot of Agarthium to be had, if you break all of the crawlers' armor.

We don't get any battalions from this, since, well, Claude already has a battalion. It's called the Immortal Corps.
♪ Golden Deer and Crescent Moon ♪

I had no idea it would turn into a fight. But hey, at least we got some treasure out of it. I'll leave this in your capable hands. Do with it as you will.
Why me?
You know our friends even better than I do. Give it to whoever you think it'll suit best.
More importantly, I didn't go there looking for treasure. Not really.
Legends about the saints abound. It's hard to tell fact from fiction. I like to confirm whatever I can, with my own eyes, to find the truth in those legends.
What did you find out?
Not a thing. We didn't find anything concrete to prove that Saint Macuil had been there. We can't say for certain that the treasure we found was Macuil's either.
I do wish we could have spoken to that Wind Caller a bit more.
Could it have been Saint Macuil?
Ha! Unlikely. Macuil lived thousands of years ago.
And I've never heard anything about the saints being monsters like that.
Wait a minute... Could the Wind Caller have anything to do with the Immaculate One? The Immaculate One is a monster sent by the goddess... Could the Wind Caller be... Where was it that I heard that stuff about them having been sent by the goddess... Ugh, maybe I'm too tired. My head is heavy and I can't think straight anymore.
Let's call it a day for now. I've got plenty of time to think this over.

Our primary reward for doing the map is the Sword of Begalta.

Sword of Begalta: Requires Sword rank A. 1 range. 12 Mt, 100 Hit, 5 Wt, 30 durability. Restores 12%/20%/33% max HP every turn; amplified for holders of the Crest of Riegan. Requires Mythril x3 and 2500 gold to repair.

It's an unforged silver sword with more Hit, 3 less Wt, and a regen effect. Not the best thing in the world, but hey, it's free.

Useless trivia, courtesy of the Fire Emblem Wiki: while the Sword of Begalta is associated with the Crest of Riegan, its model has the Crest of Chevalier on it.
♪ Tempest of Seasons ♪

Anyway, I went and did Ferdinand and Lysithea's paralogue.

Give yourself more credit, my boy, those are the exact two stats you need.

Linhardt continues to depress me.

I talked up the deadly trio of Hilda, Felix, and Petra earlier, but Ferdinand is of equivalent power to them, too.


I guess I won't say no to him getting beefier.

Also, if you're wondering, I put Raph back into Grappler briefly to let him master it.

Which he did.

Lotta units hitting the important 30 damage stat + Spd breakpoint, or about to.

Constance, meanwhile, has absurd levels of Mag.

Man, if you'd been getting levels like that all game, I wouldn't be on the verge of benching you.


Also nice.

Nope, not nice.

Also not nice.

Ouch, what happened there?

I'm seriously running out of generic "good level" comments. Help.

You can only say "good job" in so many ways before you get really repetitive.

Or, hell, you can only say "bad" in so many ways before etc. etc.

...'k, whatever.


Acceptable, thank you, Ferdinand.


Flayn, what the fuck, you're level 27 with 23 Mag.

Be more like Felix.

Raph's gotten that magic mix of high Str and high HP/Def that makes me consider him invaluable.

Lots of physical units turning out great this run.

Alois is not one of them.
♪ Corridor of the Tempest ♪

I then went and did Balthus's quest battle, which takes place on the same map, funnily enough.

Oofa doofa, Lorenz.

Not too shabby, it's +1 Crit.

...Please do get another stat alongside that +1 Crit, though.

I don't think Manuela's gonna be of much use this run, sadly.
♪ No music ♪

I'll close out the update with preparing for the next battle.
♪ No music ♪

But it's so foggy... Even if there were enemies here, we'd never know it.
I recall the terrain from the Battle of the Eagle and Lion, but without the ability to see the enemy's formation...
Our enemies are subject to the same conditions. We'll just have to wait for the fog to clear up.
Speaking of enemies, what do you think became of those unidentified troops? Any follow-up reports?
We haven't heard anything since. If they were headed this way... Well, I'd like to avoid being caught by surprise, but we can't make use of our scouts because of this fog. It's hard to predict this fight. There's no way to know what will happen.
I'm worried.
We did everything we could to prepare. If we lose despite that, then we'll just have to accept it as fate and retreat.
Your guidance is going to be crucial, Teach. Now more than ever. Do whatever it takes to lead us to victory.

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

How about some supports for the road?

Felix/Leonie A.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Good to know. There are so many differences between bows and blades!
Yes. You're a quick learner, Leonie, and quite a good teacher as well.
Must be Captain Jeralt's influence.
The weather, the terrain, the enemy's feelings—you have to find ways to make it all work for you.
I agree. A warrior can't stick too closely to predefined tactics. That's quite shrewd. You're impressive for a girl.
For a girl? Come on, you're past that.
Looking down on your opponent is a great way to fall into a pit trap, isn't it?
I suppose that's true.
Glad you remember.
I still have much to learn. Not only about swordplay, but also about thinking on my feet.
I hope to learn more from you, Leonie.
Count on it! We'll come up with plenty of new ideas if we work together. Guess that means we're partners, doesn't it?
We're what?
Partners! Friends who help each other improve!
Hm. Partners. That's not bad.
Not at all! Looking forward to working with you, partner!

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Ferdinand/Constance A.
♪ Somewhere to Belong ♪

Ah! Is there something I can do for you, Constance?
Is there something you can do?! Of course there is!
Well, what is it?
It ought to be plain.
I...do not follow. Please clarify what you mean.
Have you forgotten the day I revealed to you my silly little dream?
If you weren't paying attention, I shall be cross.
Oh, yes... You must be referring to the oblique request you made concerning peaks and valleys.
Not seeing a peak ahead of you, you hoped I might help lift you out of your lowly sta—
Precisely! You've summed it up completely.
Now that you know of what I speak, I want you to forget it immediately. Act as if you heard nothing.
You want me to forget the occasion you just asked me to remember. I see.
Before I discard this memory entirely, might I be so bold as to ask...why?
Is it not obvious? I don't want my weakness bandied about. I vowed to restore House Nuvelle through my own grand achievement.
Just as I would not abandon this dream, I would not accept it being handed to me.
Though if I am to be quite honest... The real reason is that letting you in on this vulnerability was an indiscretion I won't repeat.
I see. What a curious situation.
I don't take your meaning.
Five years ago, with the cladding of my highborn status stripped away, I was vulnerable and exposed. The hand of fate stripped everything from me, leaving me vulnerable and exposed. To borrow your words...I was in a valley and a thick shroud of fog obscured the peak before me.
Now the cloud has lifted a bit, and I can see a glimpse of what lies ahead.
And what, dare I ask, do you see?
There is a towering cliff for you to scale...and a long, rocky path lying ahead of me. Rather than ascending separately, we can join hands and face these obstacles together. Then we can reach the heights of our forebears—or, dare I say, even higher.
Even higher, you say? Now you remind me once more of the boy I knew. I have but one concern.
And what might that be?
That I shall outpace your laggardly efforts.
Huh? I was being sincere, you know!

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Petra/Ashe B.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Commoner techniques? Oh! You mean when I haggled for you.
Yes. It has made for many savings. I was telling the professor. We both are so happy.
Really, it wasn't a big deal. But I'm glad the professor was pleased.
Uh, what is it? Do I have something on my face?
For a lot of time, I was living in the Imperial capital. Then I came here, to the monastery. Both places contain many nobles and many chances to be learning noble customs.
That's true. When you're surrounded by new people, you naturally pick up all kinds of stuff. Though with nobles, there's a lot to learn. All the etiquette is overwhelming.
Not to mention the dancing. Ahh, I just keep stepping on my partner's feet!
In Fódlan, the nobles are training for dancing since their youth. They have much skill.
When I was a kid, I spent most of my time helping out at my parents' restaurant and playing with my brother and sister. Back then, I never dreamed I'd ever be studying at a proper academy with all these nobles.
I have learned many customs of the nobles but few of the commoners.
I am hoping you will teach me. Techniques, secret skills, anything. All of the things.
Secret skills? Haha, I don't think I know anything that fancy.
That is not the truth. The technique for money saving could be helpful even for nobles. It has use for all the world! It has use for all the world!
I don't know about that. Really, I don't have any special secrets.
Commoner wisdom is only to be shared with commoners, then? I have understanding. Forbidden knowledge. Ashe, how about we make a bargain? We can be trading information. In Brigid, powerful curse techniques are passed down. And we can speak with the spirits. I can be teaching you these things.
What?! C-curses?! No, no, no, no, no! I-I don't need any dangerous information like that!
But if you really insist, I guess I could teach you a few things about what life is like on the streets.
Would that be enough?
You will be showing me the secret techniques? I cannot be waiting!
Uh, that's not what I meant...

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

Petra/Alois C.
♪ A Gentle Breeze ♪

Waaagh! Who goes there?! Oh, Petra, it's you. You appeared out of nowhere.
I have a question to be asking you.
Sure, I don't mind. I'll answer your question.
You are always surrounded by people. When you speak, they smile. I feel envy. I want to know the secret to having a happy conversation.
Ah, you need a lesson on breaking the ice. That's a slippery subject, but I bet we can crack it!
Now, let's see. The crucial thing is to start conversations. Be proactive about saying hello.
Ask questions. Also, it might help to stop sneaking up on people.
Start conversations. Stop sneaking. I am understanding. Is there more?
You can always try throwing in a joke, to lighten the mood. The trick is to keep trying, so you get practice. Put your best foot forward—and try not to put it in your mouth!
What are you saying? Why are you laughing?
Oh, I, uh... I just made a little joke.
A joke? Can you give me more explanation?
Well, uh, "Put your best foot forward," that's an expression people say that means, "Try as hard as you can." And "putting your foot in your mouth" doesn't really mean what it sounds like... When you "put your foot in your mouth," you are saying something rude without meaning to, and so...
Gah! What am I going on about?
There's nothing worse than trying to explain a joke.
Petra? You've gone awfully quiet. I suppose you've lost faith in me as a conversation tutor.
You are...playing with your words. We do such things in Brigid too.
In Fódlan, you have a strange way of playing with a word's meaning. I am admiring of it!
You admire me? Oh Petra, no need to say kind things out of pity. You didn't hurt my feelings.
Am I hurting them?
If you were sincerely complimenting me, then no. To think—you just started learning how to chitchat, and you've already got a silver tongue.
You really put your money where your mouth is!
More laughing. This must be a complex technique for word playing...

♪ Scales of the Goddess ♪

After multiple failed attempts, Petra finally classes into Wyvern Lord.

Trickster wasn't so great for Adan, so...screw it, might as well get a Swordfaire-having class.

Next time: the battle that, for me, defines Three Houses.

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